EDITORIAL: It’s time to face the truth on drug use

The homeless don’t own the drug epidemic

Last week when we learned the primary heroin dealer in Sooke had been selling a dangerous cocktail of drugs that contained everything but heroin, the news was, we suspect, probably met with shrugs and a bit of self righteous tongue clucking.

Drug addicts. Those people need to clean up their act, right?

It didn’t help the warning was issued by the Sooke Shelter Society – a source that served to bolster the belief that the majority of the opioid problem in Sooke and in B.C. in general was an issue for the homeless or severely disadvantaged in society.

RELATED: Test reveals fentanyl creep into south Island heroin supply

Only that isn’t the case.

It’s not primarily the homeless who are dying from these drugs.

The majority of drug deaths in B.C. – 73 per cent – are happening to people who live in private residences, as opposed to nine per cent in the ranks of the homeless.

The victims span all demographics, but they are primarily male, unmarried, and between the ages of 30 and 59. Most are employed in the trades or transport, although about half are unemployed at the time of their death.

And the people who are dying are people you may know. They’re friends, neighbours and family members, and in B.C., they’re dying at a rate of about 90 people a month.

It’s a hidden plague that’s hitting our community, and it’s high time to shine a light on the problem.

Most of us can’t imagine what induces a person to inject themselves with a potentially deadly drug.

Addiction is, after all, a hugely complex and destructive disease.

But if current trends continue, if you don’t already know someone who has a problem with addiction, you will.

And the solutions to the drug problem in Sooke and beyond are equally complex.

But it has to begin with acknowledging the truth that this is a problem that transcends the homeless and affects us all.

We need to educate ourselves about this plague, learn the signs of addiction and help drug users get treatment.

We need to aggressively prosecute those who supply and promote these deadly poisons.

It all begins with admitting that the problem is not the domain of the disadvantaged, but that it has the potential to affect us all.

A failure to concede that fundamental truth will only lead to more lives being shattered, often behind closed doors.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay officer injured while breaking up party

Party-goers yell ‘f*** the blue,’ say police

Vancouver Island artist’s painting of front-line worker a powerful image

Chemainus artist puts her creative touch to COVID Angel

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Nanaimo sees Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic

Nexus Primary Care Clinic opened in late June in south end

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Most Read